Businesses in Cornwall are being warned to stay alert for hoax calls claiming to be from a 'Track and Trace' official after a business was falsely told to close their business.

Following a recent spate of bogus food safety inspections in the Newquay area, Cornwall Council’s environmental health team is now warning of a hoax call that has been carried out in the Par area.

This time the fake call was to a hairdressers, in which the caller claimed to have identified a positive case of Covid-19 in someone who had been to their premises. The caller went on to ask the owner to close their business.

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Cornwall Council said that its environmental health, food safety and other officials will always provide contact details, so that business owners and staff can check they are genuine.

Any call or visit can also be checked by phoning 0300 1234212 or emailing

Rob Nolan, cabinet member for public protection, said: “It is a shame that any business has to contend with hoaxes and confidence tricksters at this difficult time, when everyone is rightly focused on health and economic recovery.

“In order to safeguard themselves, business owners should advise their staff to take full contact details from anyone claiming to be giving official instructions, then either report or check the visit or phone call.

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"Our environmental health and Trading Standards officers will either confirm and reassure quickly. Or pass the information to police to investigate if it looks like a hoax.

“Whatever the motives of these con artists, we must act promptly to make sure their activity is spotted and reported.

"Using this time of heightened anxiety to worry businesses unnecessarily is contemptible. They mustn’t be allowed to get away with it.”